History and museums
Port Everglades is a seaport in Broward County, Florida. As one of South Florida's leading economic powerhouses, Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. Currently the third busiest cruise port worldwide, Port Everglades is also the busiest container port in Florida and 10th busiest in the United States, moving more than 1 million TEUs in 2013. Port Everglades is South Florida's main seaport for receiving petroleum products including gasoline, jet fuel, and alternative fuels. The port serves as the primary storage and distribution seaport for refined petroleum products, distributing fuel to residents of 12 Florida counties. Port Everglades is also recognized as a favorite United States Navy liberty port. With a depth of 43 feet (13 m) (at mean low water), Port Everglades is currently the deepest United States (Atlantic Ocean) port south of Norfolk, Virginia.
The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government with operating revenues of approximately $139 million in Fiscal Year 2011 (October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011). It does not rely on local taxes for operations. The total value of economic activity at Port Everglades is nearly $15.3 billion annually. Approximately 160,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including 11,400 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades.
Port Everglades is composed of land within three municipalities, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach and unincorporated Broward County. Port Everglades is a man-made seaport, dredged out of a natural body of water called Lake Mabel. Lake Mabel was a wide and shallow section of the Florida East Coast Canal system. The Florida Board of Trade passed a resolution in 1911 calling for a deepwater port to ship farmers' produce to the North and the West. In 1913, the Fort Lauderdale Harbor Company was formed and eventually dug out the Lake Mabel Cut, opening the New River to the sea for small boats. In 1924, Joseph Wesley Young, founder and mayor of the city of Hollywood, Florida bought 1,440 acres (5.8 km2) of land adjacent to the lake and created Hollywood Harbor Development Company. In 1927, the Florida State Legislature established the Broward County Port Authority. On February 22, 1928, 85 percent of Broward County's residents gathered for a ceremony in which President Calvin Coolidge was to push a button from the White House detonating explosives to remove the rock barrier separating the harbor from the Atlantic Ocean. The button malfunctioned, but the barrier was removed shortly thereafter.
Bay Mabel Harbor was dedicated on February 22, 1928. Several local women's clubs decided a new name was needed to represent the region and conducted a name changing contest. The name Port Everglades was chosen to represent the seaport as "The gateway to the rich agricultural area embraced in the 4 million acres (16,000 km²) at the Port's very backdoor."
The container handling capacity of the port was increased with a new 41-acre (170,000 m2) terminal, completed in 2010. The expansion increased Port Everglades' freight handling area by 15%.
On December 21, 2003, the port had a record 15 cruise ships. No other port in the world has hosted 10 or more cruise ships on a single day. The closest competitors are: Port of Barcelona with 9 ships the 26 of August 2011 Miami with 8 ships and Port of New York with 7 ships on a single day.
Port Everglades broke its own world record on November 26, 2011, with more than 53,500 guests passing through the Port in a single day. The previous record was set on March 20, 2010, with 53,365 passengers.
In 2010, Port Everglades documented 55 cruise ships offering regularly scheduled cruises. With 15 different cruise lines, Port Everglades claims to offer more cruise lines, more sailings, and more itineraries than any other port in the world.
Seatrade Insider, one of the world's foremost cruise industry trade publications, named Port Everglades "World's Top Cruise Port" during the 2010 Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards ceremony at the historic l' Opera House in Nice, France.
Port Everglades, Florida (January 27, 2013) - Broward County's Port Everglades has been selected for the fifth consecutive year as the Best U.S. Homeport by Porthole Cruise Magazine, the internationally distributed cruise travel magazine.
As of December 2012, Port Everglades is the world's third busiest cruise port after PortMiami and Port Canaveral, with more than 3.5 million annual revenue cruise passengers in 2013. Ships sail year round, but the peak season is from November to April. Port Everglades was once home to RMS Queen Elizabeth when she was laid up as a museum ship from 1968 until 1970. Besides the RMS Queen Elizabeth, Port Everglades has been used to dock many notable and famous ships. In 2004, the Queen Mary 2 completed her maiden voyage and her maiden transatlantic voyage at Port Everglades. In December 2009, Royal Caribbean International began using Port Everglades as the home port for the world's largest passenger ship, the Oasis of the Seas; in late 2010, she was joined at Port Everglades by her sister ship Allure of the Seas.
A regular tradition of the condominium residents who live next to the channel of Port Everglades in Everglades House, Sky Harbor East and Point Of Americas I and II is to bid bon-voyage to cruise ships as they embark on their voyages from Port Everglades. To wish the passengers a happy voyage the residents blow horns and ring bells, with the ships usually responding by blowing their horns back. Some residents fly flags of the ships to pay patronage to having sailed on the ship.